“Kidnapped her!” declared Patty, and then amid the laughter of their hearers, they told the whole story.
“I never heard of such a thing!” said Aunt Adelaide, with a disapproving frown.
“But it was that, or no dinner,” said Patty, plaintively.
“I think it’s great!” said Roger. “And the end is not yet! In an hour, all sorts of police and detectives and weird things like that will come up here and arrest us.”
“They’ll only take Patty and me,” said Farnsworth, “and we can look out for ourselves, can’t we, A. B.?”
But Patty only smiled, and ran away to her own room.
GOOD-BYE FOR NOW
It was the day of Farnsworth’s departure. In fact, the whole house party was leaving. Roger had already gone, and the Kenerleys and Daisy Dow were to go next day, while Cromer, who had become attached to Spring Beach, had concluded to transfer himself to a hotel and stay the rest of the summer.
“I hate to have you all go,” said Mona, dolefully. “Now that I’ve new servants, and such good ones, I’d like to have you all stay on indefinitely.”
“There are others,” suggested Jim Kenerley.
“I know, but I don’t want others. This crowd has become so chummy and nice it’s a pity to break it up. Aren’t you sorry to go, Bill?”
“Haven’t gone yet!” said Farnsworth, cheerfully.
“But your things are all packed, and you’re to go this afternoon,” said Mona.
“Well, it’s morning now; why borrow trouble? Let’s have some fun instead.”
“Yes, let’s!” and Mona brightened up. “Let’s go on a picnic!”
“I hate picnics,” said Daisy; “they’re no fun. Let’s motor over to Lakeville.”
“I hate Lakeville,” said Patty. “Let’s have a dress-up party of some kind.”
“We can’t get up a fancy dress party in a few hours,” objected Adele Kenerley. “Let’s have a contest of some sort,—with prizes. Tennis,—or basket ball.”
“Oh, it’s too warm for those things,” said Laurence Cromer. “Let’s do something quieter. I’ll tell you what,—let’s play Human Parcheesi! Just the thing.”
“What is Human Parcheesi?” asked Patty, interested at once.
“Oh, it’s a new game,” explained Cromer; “in fact, I just made it up this instant.”
“How do you play it?” asked Mona.
“I don’t quite know myself yet. I haven’t finished making it up. Anyway, you have to have more people. Let me see, we have seven here. Can you get some more, Mona? We won’t play till after luncheon. It will take the rest of the morning for me to finish making up the game. We’ll play on the west lawn. Oh, it’s going to be lovely! I want four billion yards of red ribbon and cosy decorations and a lot of things! Skip to the telephone, Mona, and invite enough people to make twenty of us all together. Tell ’em to come at three o’clock, I’ll be ready then.”